This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord
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When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.”
Why were they looking? There is a lot to meditate on in today’s Gospel passage. Three wise men were following a star. But why were they even looking? Why were they even searching? I think it is because they were restless; something or someone was missing in their lives.
We tend to think wealthy people have it made. Believe me, they don’t. We tend to think poor people are miserable. Believe me, they aren’t. For these reasons, the crèche is the ideal place to meditate and contemplate on both these misconceptions and correct our superficial impressions.
The wise men had their eyes fixed on the heavens because they were looking for meaning. What’s this world all about?
For them, it wasn’t unreasonable to believe in a higher being, and one that would want to reveal himself to them. It was just a matter of time and keeping your heart, mind and eyes open. So when these men saw this amazing star, they immediately set their hearts and minds to finding the person behind it.
Was this their ah ha moment? Not yet.
Something about that star. We would like to believe the wise men were astronomers. I tend to think they were more like philosophers or poets or even storm chasers. They were adventurers. They were dreamers. They were star chasers.
The star may have inspired them, but I believe they were already inspired, well before they saw the star. The star simply gave them an excuse to get moving. It clinched a hunch they had, and so they journeyed to got to the bottom of it. Where they surprised it led them to a manger? I believe so.
Was this their ah ha moment? I think so.
What’s below that star? Not too long ago, I read that NASA is very much interested in catching an asteroid. They want to catch it and bring it back to earth to study it. I think this is amazing. But while I was reflecting on this, I thought about today’s readings.
Now I know the wise men followed a star, not an asteroid. But what I find most appealing about them is that they weren’t interested in catching it and bringing it back home. In fact, they journeyed back home a different way.
This takes humility. It takes a lot of courage as well.
Was this their ah ha moment as well? You bet.
Herod wanted to catch the star (the child) and bring it back home to destroy it. I think many of us would love to catch Christ’s star and bring it back home with us and have it settle above us! This takes a lot of pride and a lot of arrogance.
Is this an ah ha moment? No. It’s a well too familiar moment.
The Cave. The wise men traveled a great distance and found themselves inside a cave, adoring a child and kneeling before his mother and father. They had never imagined ”seeing” tied together a manger and a star, the divine to the human, the physical with the spiritual, a child to God, royalty combined with poverty, and strength through humility.
Was this an ah ha moment? Oh yeah. It was an epiphany! (70)